February 15, 2012 |
Citigroup Inc. is paying $158 million to settle accusations that it took advantage of a federal mortgage insurance program. In a settlement with the Justice Department, Citi admitted that it provided misleading information about the quality of its mortgages to a federal insurance program run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The government provided backing for the mortgages and ended up losing millions when the borrowers defaulted. In the complaint filed Wednesday as part of the settlement, the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan said CitiMortgage violated the rules of the Federal Housing Administration insurance program for six years until it was subpoenaed in July.
December 18, 2011 |
Could today's seductive conditions in the housing market — severely marked-down prices, record low interest rates and hundreds of thousands of foreclosures waiting to be resold — be breeding new generations of the very practices that led to the crash? In an ironic twist, there are signs that the wreckage left over from the housing bust may be reigniting dubious real estate schemes and fraud. According to researchers: •Property flippers are back in action in places like south Florida and Las Vegas, where condominium prices crashed but are now appreciating again in some areas.
October 20, 2011 |
Investigators with the state attorney general's office have subpoenaed Bank of America Corp. in connection with the sale and marketing of troubled mortgage-backed securities to California investors, according to a person familiar with the probe. The state is trying to determine whether the bank and its Countrywide Financial subsidiary sold investments backed by risky mortgages to institutional and private investors in California under false pretenses, according to the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested confidentiality.
September 29, 2011 |
Mortgage fraud reports to the Treasury Department jumped 88% in the second quarter — mainly because banks are reexamining loans from the housing boom and finding problems. And California led the way in this dubious trend, Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network division said in a quarterly report released Wednesday. The agency said the mortgage-collection arms of banks filed 29,558 suspicious activity reports involving possible loan fraud in the quarter that ended June 30. That compared with 15,727 that the mortgage servicers filed in the same quarter of 2010.
June 5, 2011 |
A simple scam aimed at hijacking just one or two mortgage payments from unwary homeowners is making the rounds once again. The scheme works like this: Con artists send letters telling borrowers that they should begin sending their payments to a fictitious company that has assumed the management of their loans. By the time borrowers who fall for the fake transfer find out they've been had, they're out one or possibly two payments. That's not much in the greater scheme of things.
May 24, 2011 |
Rene Rafael Lopez paid more than $35,000 to a company that claimed it would work with him to save his East Los Angeles home from foreclosure. "They told me, 'Don't worry, we are going to take care of everything,'" Lopez said, speaking Spanish. But nothing happened. "This company now doesn't answer my calls or anything," Lopez said. His home was sold at auction earlier this year. It's a story that could have been told by numerous homeowners in Southern California who lost their properties after paying thousands of dollars to companies who pledged to help.
May 23, 2011 |
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, saying that years of unscrupulous lending still haunts the state, is creating a 25-person task force to target mortgage fraud of any size — from small operations that preyed on troubled borrowers to corporations that sold risky loans as safe investments. The team of 17 lawyers and eight special agents from the state Department of Justice will pursue three major areas, Harris said in an interview: •Corporate fraud, including instances in which bundled mortgages were sold as securities to the state or its pension funds under false pretenses.
May 3, 2011
The United States sued Deutsche Bank AG for more than $1 billion, accusing the German bank of defrauding the government by repeatedly lying to obtain federal insurance guarantees on mortgage debt. The lawsuit filed Tuesday against Deutsche Bank and its MortgageIT Inc unit is believed to be among the first targeting mortgage lenders under the federal False Claims Act. It also marks the newest push by the government to hold the mortgage industry responsible for perceived excesses that contributed to a four-year-old U.S. housing slump and hundreds of thousands of foreclosures.
March 1, 2011 |
????????????Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes: Discount appliances ? Two people who advertised discount, high-end appliances on the Internet but failed to ship them after receiving payment have been convicted of fraud and money laundering. Darin Jerome French and Jennifer Lynn French were accused of stealing $1.5 million from customers of their business, Look What We Got, in 2003 and 2004. They advertised Sub Zero, Viking and Wolf kitchen appliances on EBay at greatly discounted prices but did not ship the products.
February 7, 2011 |
??????Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Super Bowl cyber attacks For many people, Super Bowl Sunday was an opportunity to get together with friends, eat some good food and knock back a few cold ones. Computer security experts say it was also a big day for cyber criminals, who were targeting the millions of people using their home computers to keep up with the game, visit gambling websites and chat about the commercials. Internet security company PC Tools suggested in a news release that computer users be careful when visiting file-sharing websites that offer links to game or advertisement videos because these links can contain harmful malware.